加载中…
正文 字体大小:

战争记忆不应成为当代政治的工具

(2015-10-31 18:19:55)
战争记忆不应成为当代政治的工具

不管怎样,
先辈的形象会在我们的记忆中出现,
在我们被提到过去的时代和社会时。
——莫里斯•哈布瓦赫《历史记忆和集体记忆》(1950年)


战争记忆不应成为当代政治的工具

(注:本文为《FT中文网》约稿,2015年5月8日发表:http://www.ftchinese.com/story/001061849  中文翻译:张雄飞  

原文是英文, 2015年5月7日发表在俄罗斯国际事务委员会的网站:http://russiancouncil.ru/en/inner/?id_4=5858#top-content 

 图片来源:俄罗斯国际事务委员会)


2015年5月9日,俄罗斯将举行盛大的纪念活动庆祝第二次世界大战欧战胜利日70周年。现仍健在的二战老兵最年轻的也差不多90岁了。我们曾乐观地期待时代的变更能抚平战争给先辈们带来的伤痛,新一代人将更加珍惜和维护和平。但乌克兰危机和多国领导人拒绝参加莫斯科红场阅兵,却使胜利日庆祝面临有史以来最大的争议。

二战老兵仍健在,胜利日就属于这个时代,为他们的胜利而庆祝,为他们的荣耀而庆祝。但二战的记忆已逐渐远去,对于未参加过二战的新一代人来说,我们是该思考自己为何庆祝胜利日。当我们说“我们”赢得了战争,“我们”已经不一样了:事实上不是我们,而是我们的先辈赢得了战争。我们只是从先辈的奋战和牺牲中继承了和平。因此,守护和平——这一宝贵的遗产才是新一代人义不容辞的责任。

苏俄的战后创伤是整个民族的集体记忆

战争给俄罗斯人集体心理中带来了巨大伤痛。二战中,苏联人民的伤亡是极为惨重的。根据官方保守估计,1941年-1945年,苏联军民的死亡人数为2660万。至少占总人口14%(1941年苏联人口为1.92亿)。换句话说,大约七分之一的苏联人在战争中丧生。这意味着在苏联每个家族都有人参加战争,每个家族都有人在战争中丧生,且牺牲的通常不止一个家庭成员。

除了直接在战场上牺牲的人,还有为战争做出各种贡献的幸存者。以自己的家族为例,我亲戚中有人在战斗中牺牲、有人被关进德国集中营、有人在列宁格勒围困中丧生、有人在敌占区恶劣的卫生条件下染病亡故。我还知道有人参加攻占柏林的战斗并幸存下来。同时也有人在医疗队救治伤员,捐献她自己的血液挽救了伤员的生命……这样的家族在俄罗斯非常普遍。于是,无数个类似遭遇的家庭构成了整个民族的集体记忆。

无论生存,还是死亡,对于二战老兵和他们的家人来说,命运都是残酷的。在战争中牺牲意味着丧失亲人的悲痛和破碎家庭中成长的小孩;在战争中幸存往往也意味着他们的健全人生被彻底毁坏了。比如,在80年代俄语中“残疾人”经常被用来泛指日常随处可见的,在战争中失去身体一部分的幸存者。

我们的先辈,也就是二战老兵这一代人,在风雨飘摇的十月革命时期出生,在集体农场和工业化的激进时代成长,年轻时参加卫国战争,青年时致力于战后重建。而当这些前苏联地区的战争幸存者历经大风大浪已经逐渐老去,到了退休的时候,却又遭遇了90年代的社会经济动荡和生活水平的大幅度下降。他们是英雄的一代,也是悲怆的一代。

纪念战争的意义在于维护和平

 

随着岁月流逝,幸存者已经越来越少。人们常后悔没能在他们在世时多问问其亲身经历,以便于对战争加深了解。但事实上,和其他很多在生活中屡经苦难的人们一样,二战老兵们对于自己的经历总是以沉默者居多。是不愿回首伤痛的记忆?还是难以和我们分享他们的情感?或者我们不能理解他们的沉默?

现在,我们一谈起战争的话题,就不可避免充满着国家之间的分歧和矛盾,二战中最明显的矛盾就是轴心国和同盟国。一方面是强调国际主义、人民自由和无国籍歧视,另一方面是强调一些民族凌驾于其他民族的法西斯主义。当然,胜利的同盟国之间也存在着分歧,但当时的同盟国之间保持了对分歧的默契。今天,强调俄罗斯与西方国家存在巨大分歧的人们可以回顾一下当年的同盟国,也就是斯大林的苏联和罗斯福、丘吉尔的西方盟国之间的关系,当时还存在着意识形态间的根本矛盾,这些矛盾恐怕远比现在分裂俄罗斯和西方国家的乌克兰问题大得多。

而战争的一代人选择了越过分歧,尊重盟友对胜利做出的贡献,这是他们用自己的方式维护着战后的和平。1945年5月8日,温斯顿•丘吉尔在欧洲停战演讲中对盟友的贡献予以高度评价:“……从(大不列颠)岛到我们整个大英帝国,我们坚持独立奋战了整整一年直到苏联军事力量的加入,随后是美国压倒性的力量和资源……今天和明天作为欧洲胜利日庆祝。今天,或许,我们主要是自己。明天,我们应该特别向苏联同志们致敬,他们在战场上用自己的力量对整个胜利做出了巨大贡献。”

现在,俄罗斯人和德国人之间已经没有了仇恨,俄罗斯和德国保持着良好的政治和经济关系。但很少有人记得,事实上正是常被视为恶魔的约瑟夫•斯大林在苏联开始要求停止反德宣传,早在1942年他就写道:“解放苏联土地的战争很有可能将导致希特勒集团被驱逐或毁灭。我们迎接这样的结果。但将希特勒集团与德国人民、德国政府混为一谈是荒谬的。历史经验告诉我们,希特勒们只是昙花一现,而德国人民和德意志国家将始终存在。”

战争的一代人对其中的分歧和矛盾的理解比新一代人认知的要清楚得多,但他们明白什么将导致分裂和战争,从而故意选择对盟友保持尊敬,以维护长远的和平——正是他们通过残酷的战争取得的和平。战争的一代人取得了显而易见的伟大成就:他们在极其紧张的国际政治形势下,已经成功避免了爆发另一次世界大战超过七十年。

营造战争的历史幻象是危险的

战争的记忆在维护当代和平时是非常重要的,但利用战争的回忆来扩大历史分歧,创造历史幻象来渗透现代政治则是危险的。

首先的一个幻象就是“代际幻象”。很多时候,我们将先辈们做的事情当做我们自己的经历,将自己代入历史。我们开始倾向于认为,是我们这一代人赢得了战争。而事实上不管我们是来自哪里,是战胜国还是战败国,我们新一代人都并未参加战争,战争时我们甚至还没有出生。是我们的前辈赢得了战争。我们只是从先辈的奋战和牺牲中继承了和平,而我们的责任是应该守护和平。当我们继续庆祝胜利日是为了反思战争和追求和平。在现代政治中,滥用年代幻象或者利用战争形象隐喻作为打击现在政治对手的手段,正是对先辈们的极不尊重。

同时,残酷的战争场景渐渐幻化成英雄史诗。这也是人类潜在的好战心理和战争相关的流行文化的不幸结果。我们倾向于相信,如果我们的先辈们是英雄,我们自己也成为了英雄。我们越来越多地接触关于战争的动作电影、虚拟游戏,越来越远离真正参与过战争的二战老兵和见证者。我们开始越来越容易地忘记战争带来的伤痛,陷入浪漫的幻想中。大家都想成为英雄,如果通过战争就能成就一番伟业,为何不放手一搏?一旦迷恋于英雄神话,我们就可能轻率地扩大现实的分歧而不是谨慎地谋求未来的和平。

然而,历史不是游戏。无论喜欢也好,不喜欢也罢。我们无法用现在的意图来重演历史。不能改变的是苏联参加了二战,而不是现在的俄罗斯、乌克兰、白俄罗斯等,对二战起到了决定性作用并最终获得胜利的是当时不可分割的苏联人民。也无法推测,哪些国家不需要其他盟友的支持也能取得胜利。因此,我们应该尊重当时的历史选择,并记住二战结束是同盟国里所有国家和人民都以自己的方式做出过贡献的伟大胜利。

2003年5月,莫斯科正值北国的春天,只有在这段很短的时间,日落迟,白天长,充满温暖的阳光。莫斯科开始庆祝欧战胜利日58周年的纪念活动。红场阅兵前几天,红场和克里姆林宫重建了一些战时的军营和医疗营地,八十多岁的二战老兵们男男女女齐聚在这里,伴随着音乐跳起了圆舞曲,他们看上去很健康,很享受着欢乐的氛围。

那一年,争论很少,尊重很多。一般认为,弗拉基米尔•普京给二战老兵带回了90年代后已被忽视的尊严。从全国各地挑选的二战老兵应邀到莫斯科参加了在大克里姆林宫的音乐会。从亚历山德罗夫红旗歌舞团雄壮的歌声响起,普京在第一排静静地坐着,没有喋喋不休的套话,只让国防部长对二战老兵发表了简短的致辞。当时,我在现场环顾四周,发现二战老兵已经不到全场的一半——再过几年,他们将越来越少。想到此,我感到一阵悲伤。

2005年,欧战胜利日60周年,很多国家领导人应邀参加了莫斯科红场阅兵等盛大纪念活动,包括当时的美国总统乔治•布什、中国国家主席胡锦涛、德国总理格哈德•施罗德、日本首相小泉纯一郎等。纪念战争的传统是默哀一分钟。

将保持沉默作为纪念的方式或许是有道理的。


World War II and Change of Generations: 
Trauma, Myth, and Memory

Be that as it may, the personage of an aged relative 
seems to grow in our memory 
as we are told of a past time and society.

Maurice Halbwachs 
“Historical Memory and Collective Memory” 
1950

On May 9, 2015, Russia will hold celebrations in memory of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Second World War (in Europe). Even the youngest veterans are approximately ninety years old now. It seemed reasonable to expect, optimistically, that the change of generations would bring appeasement to the traumas of war, and that the new generation will cherish the peace with renewed efforts. However, the celebration that takes place amid the Ukrainian crisis and the reluctance of many of the world leaders to take part in the traditional Red Square parade in Moscow turns out to be the most controversial one ever.

As long as the veterans are still alive, the Victory Day belongs to the present, is for them, for their victory, and in their honor. As they become scarcer, it is a good time to reflect upon why we, a new generation, keep celebrating the Victory Day. Even if we say that ‘we’ won the war, the ‘we’ now sounds differently: the truth is that our ancestors won the war, not us. We simply inherited the peace that they fought for and sacrificed their lives for. Hence, our absolute responsibility as the new generation is to preserve the peace.

Handling Post-War Trauma

The war trauma is first of all measured in terms of human casualties. The human cost that the Soviet people paid in the war was tremendous. The losses of the Soviet population in 1941-1945, in military personnel and civilians, are officially and conservatively estimated at 26.6 million. This means that at least 14% of the total USSR population (estimated at 192 million people in 1941), or 1 in every 7-8 people, perished in the war [1]. In other words, every family had people who took part in the war and every family likely had people who did not survive the war, and usually more than one.

Besides those who sacrificed their lives, there were obviously various contributions of those who survived. In my own family, I can mention someone who was killed in action, and someone who went to a German concentration camp, and someone who perished in the Leningrad blockade, and someone who died of disease because of bad sanitary conditions in occupied areas. But I can also mention someone who marched up to Berlin and survived the whole war. As well as someone who, serving in a medical unit, saved lives by donating her own blood to the wounded soldiers. All these stories are very common in Russia, and these traumatic experiences of a great number of men, women, and their families constitute our collective memory about the war.

Destiny was never gentle to the war veterans and their families, alive or dead. War casualties translated into personal losses and a generation of children being raised in incomplete families. War returnees often had their health destroyed. In the 1980s the word ‘invalid’ was commonly used in Russian language with reference to the war veterans with missing body parts whom we could still frequently encounter back then.

The war generation. The dawn of their lives coincided with the tumultuous October revolution, their adolescence with the radical times of collectivization and industrialization, in their youth they took part in the war, in their adulthood they strived for post-war reconstruction. At the end of their lives, when the survivors of all these upheavals finally entered their retirement age, many saw their living standards deteriorate tremendously due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the economic situation of the 1990s. They were indeed the heroic and the tragic generation.

True Meaning of Memory

The relentless passage of the years has left fewer and fewer survivors of the war generation. As they leave us, we regret that we never asked them enough questions, that we missed forever so many details. Yet, like most of those who suffered a big deal in their lives, the veterans actually seemed reserved about sharing their experiences, to the extent, I remember, that asking them questions about the war felt almost embarrassing. The questions stuck in the throat: out of fear to raise hurtful memories? Because of our inability to understand? Because of their reluctance to share the inconceivable?

It turns out nowadays that, whenever the war theme is raised, it is hard to avoid the divisions and boundaries among countries and nations. The most obvious division is among the Allies and the Axis powers. The Second World War was not a conventional war, but a war between two ideologies. On the one hand, the ideology of internationalism and freedom of the peoples, regardless of their ethnicity and race; on the other, fascist ideology, which promoted the superiority of certain nations over others.

A less intuitive fact is that the war also left lots of controversies within the winning camp. Whoever thinks that today’s rivalries between Russia and the Western countries are too deep to overcome, should definitely reflect on the ideological contradictions among the Allies, mainly between the USSR and the Western Allies, between Stalin, on the one side, and Churchill and Roosevelt on the other. It is highly unlikely that those days’ huge rivalries were smaller than those that now separate Russia and the West over Ukraine.

In fact, the war generation’s reserve over these numerous sensitive points and their respect to the mutuality of contribution towards the Victory was their way to preserve post-war peace. When Winston Churchill delivered his “End of the War in Europe” speech on May 8, 1945, he chose the formula giving credit to all Allies: “After gallant France had been struck down we, from this Island and from our united Empire, maintained the struggle single-handed for a whole year until we were joined by the military might of Soviet Russia, and later by the overwhelming power and resources of the United States of America. <…We are> celebrating to-day and to-morrow <…> as Victory in Europe days. Today, perhaps, we shall think mostly of ourselves. To-morrow we shall pay a particular tribute to our Russian comrades, whose prowess in the field has been one of the grand contributions to the general victory” [2].

There is no hatred of the Germans among the Russian people, and nowadays Germany and Russia enjoy one of the best political and economic relations. But few people remember that it was Joseph Stalin himself, sometimes demonized afterwards, who actually stopped anti-German propaganda in the Soviet Union, writing as early as in 1942: “It is very likely that the war for the liberation of Soviet soil will lead to the expulsion or destruction of Hitler's clique. We would welcome such an outcome. But it would be ridiculous to identify Hitler's clique with the German people, with the German government. The experience of history shows that Hitlers come and go, but the German people and the German state remain” [3].

The people of the war generation were likely to be much more aware of the controversies of war than the new generations might assume, but they realized these issues would be divisive, and chose, deliberately, to remain respectful in order to maintain long-lasting peace, that uneasy peace that they struggled for during the war. The biggest achievement of the war generation is obvious: it is their success to avoid, in an extremely tense political situation, for seventy years already, another major world conflict.

When Memory Becomes a Myth

The war memory is important today when it serves to maintain the peace, but it becomes dangerous when it serves to revive historical divisions, create historical mythology and gets involved into modern politics. From this, two myths easily emerge.

The first myth is what we could call the ‘generation myth’. At some point, the boundaries between the war generation and the new generations become blurred, and we start to associate our historic role with theirs. We start to think that we won the war if our ancestors did it. The reality is, no matter where we come from, we didn’t actually win the war (neither lost it), as we were not even born when the war was fought. Our ancestors did. Those of our ancestors who won the war did so in order to secure peace for us, and left us with the responsibility to preserve that peace. Therefore, while we continue to celebrate the Victory Day and to reflect upon the war, it is ultimately disrespectful to their memory to tie the war history to our modern-day politics or to use the war metaphors against our contemporary political opponents.

The second myth is the ‘hero myth’. Brutal war scenes gradually evolve into a beautiful chapter of epic fantasy. It is also the unfortunate result of the war-related popular culture. We then start to believe that we are automatically heroes if our ancestors were heroes. The more we play games and watch movies about the war, and the remoter we actually are from the war veterans and witnesses, the easier it is for us to forget the war traumas and the likelier we are to fall into the trap of war romance. This is an especially dangerous myth, because many humans naturally want to become heroes. And if waging wars can pave the way for us to become heroes – why not start a war once again?

However, life is not a game, and we cannot replay history in a way we want today. We cannot change it that there was the Soviet Union back in time, not modern days Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, or other former USSR countries. Neither alternate the fact that the decisive contribution of the peoples of the Soviet Union to the victory is indivisible. We cannot test, either, whether some of the Allies would have been able to achieve the Victory without the assistance from others. We should therefore respect the historic choices made back then and remember that the end of the World War II is the multinational achievement of all the countries and peoples of the coalition who each in their way contributed to the grand victory and grand peace.

* * *

The 58th anniversary of the Victory, May 2003, Moscow. A few days before the parade, decorations of war time bivouacs and medical units were arranged around the Red Square and the Kremlin. The music is flowing, and couples of octogenarian veterans, many still in sufficiently good health to enjoy the atmosphere, are dancing the waltz. It is one of those long May evenings that only occur in the North, where spring sunsets are late, and only last for a short season.

That year, there was less talking and more respect. Vladimir Putin was generally believed to bring decency back to the veterans after the neglect of the 1990s. Selected veterans from all over the country were invited to attend the concert at the Grand Kremlin Palace, as the rumor said, on government expenses. And while the magnificent sounds of the renowned Alexandrov military orchestra were opening the show, Vladimir Putin quietly entered the hall and placed himself in the first row. He wouldn’t utter a word during the whole evening, letting his Minister of Defense greet the veterans in a brief speech. I looked around the hall and noticed, with sadness, that the veterans’ were no more than a half of those present. “In a few more years, they would become a minority”, I thought, my heart squeezing.

In 2005, the 60th anniversary Red Square parade was attended by many world leaders, including George Bush, Hu Jintao, Junichiro Koizumi, Gerhard Schröder, and Silvio Berlusconi. After all, there are probably good reasons for the tradition that tribute to the war is best paid by a minute of Silence.

1. The constant discussion about the amount of the USSR human losses in the Second World War continues. The number of approximately 27 million victims was first announced by Mikhail Gorbachev in: Gorbachev, M.S. Lessons of War and Victory. Report at the celebratory meeting in memory of the 45th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet People in the Great Patriotic War. May 8, 1990. Published in “Pravda” on May 9, 1990.

2. Churchill, Winston. End of the War in Europe. Speech delivered on May 8, 1945. URL:http://www.winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/1941-1945-war-leader/end-of-the-war-in-europe

3. Order of the People’s Commissar of Defense No. 55 of February 23, 1942.

The article was published in Financial Times Chinese.

0

阅读 评论 收藏 转载 喜欢 打印举报
  • 评论加载中,请稍候...
发评论

       

    发评论

    以上网友发言只代表其个人观点,不代表新浪网的观点或立场。

      

    新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 不良信息反馈 电话:4006900000 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

    新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

    新浪公司 版权所有